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India sees U.S. as long-term partner in fostering global environment conducive to growth: PM

New Delhi, Sep 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said India sees the United States as a long-term partner in its development efforts, and also in fostering a global environment conducive to growth.

In a departure statement released before embarking on a five-day visit to the United States, Dr. Singh said: “For India, the U.S. remains a key source of technology, investment, innovation and resources, and one of the most important destinations for our goods and services. We have productive and deepening partnerships in trade and investment, defence, counter-terrorism, intelligence, internal security, cyber security, civil nuclear energy, environment, health, higher education, space, science and technology and culture.

“People-to-people contacts are a strong feature of our engagement. We have also launched development partnership in third countries,” he added.

Referring to the “intensive high-level bilateral visits, Dr. Singh said: “Over the past decade, our relationship with the United States, which is one of our most important relationships, has transformed into a global strategic partnership.”

“The intensive, high-level bilateral visits over the last few months reflect the strong momentum of our engagement. We have also registered impressive progress in our cooperation across the full spectrum of the relationship,” he added.

He said he was looking forward “to discussing a broad range of global and regional developments, and how we can work together to advance our shared interests”.

He further said that the United Nations General Assembly will focus this year on the follow up to the 2012 U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro, which marked the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit.

“The General Assembly will also look at drawing up the global development agenda after 2015, which is the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in 2000. Despite successes on many parameters, the world as a whole is unlikely to meet the MDGs, and it is important that we sustain our efforts,” he said.

“I will emphasize the importance of maintaining poverty eradication and inclusive development at the core of the post-2015 development agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals that are expected to be drawn up as part of the follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference should ensure a holistic approach to sustainable development objectives, ensuring a balanced treatment of its economic, social and environmental dimensions as well as universal applicability,” he added.

Asserting that the UN General Assembly will also meet at a time of enormous political upheaval, particularly in West Asia, coupled with a global economic slowdown that has now affected even the emerging economies, Dr. Singh said: “I will convey our strong conviction that global challenges are best addressed through multilateral approaches, with the United Nations at its centre.”

“I will also stress the pressing need for early reform of institutions of global political and economic governance, particularly the United Nations Security Council, so that the UN can play an effective and credible role. The year 2015 will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, and it would be a fitting occasion to conclude the ongoing reform efforts,” he added. (ANI)